Sunday, December 10, 2023

Matt Turner departs, Raya deal twist

Good morning.

The goalkeeping merry-go-round started spinning in earnest yesterday as Matt Turner joined Nottingham Forest on a permanent basis. The fee, around £10m with all clauses activated, seems reasonable enough to me, and at 29 he gets to play regular first team football – something any player of that age needs, unless they’ve made the choice to spend their life as a number 2 goalkeeper.

Matt, of course, is an Arsenal fan and, after living the dream for a year, he took the time to say thanks via his Instagram page, saying:

What a time! Thank you for the memories, Gooners. I genuinely gave my all every single day to try to push and help the club as much as I could, I hope the fans always felt that.

My family will forever feel at home in North London, Easton even seemingly fell in love with the sport!

We accomplished so many things and made so many lifelong friendships at Arsenal. That being said, it’s time for a new challenge in my career and for our family life, I’m so excited for what’s to come!

See you on the other side my Dawgs 😉

He has been registered in time to play on Saturday, and while I wish him all the very best at his new club, I hope he’s on the wrong end of a good old fashioned hammering at the weekend. I don’t want him to have a stinker or anything, but if we can score quality goals where the keeper has no chance, that’d do me fine.

That then opened the door for David Raya to join from Brentford, but after much discussion of the transfer fee, there was a little bit of a twist yesterday evening. The Spaniard will now join on loan for the season, with Arsenal paying a £3m loan fee and the player extending his contract at Brentford, while we get a £27m option to make the deal permanent.

I have to say, that really is a great deal. So much so, I don’t really understand why Brentford were open to it, but fair to play Edu and his team because it’s an excellent bit of business. The upside is that you still get another quality goalkeeper in, and if he does well, you can secure the transfer at a very decent price – especially if you offset the Turner fee against it. If things don’t go quite the way you want, then you have the ability to walk away and reconsider the goalkeeping dynamic which I wrote about yesterday. Raya’s medical takes place today, and the reality is we need him for the weekend after Matt Turner’s departure.

Whether the structure of the deal has anything to do with FFP, or something else financial, I’m not 100% sure but it would make sense. Even with the Turner income, and the other sales we’ve made this summer, we’re running at a significant deficit based on what we’ve dished out on Declan Rice, Kai Havertz and Jurrien Timber. Not to mention the fact we spent quite a bit in January too, and barely brought much in during the off-season window of 2022. A deal like this maybe gives us the ability to push the main cost to another accounting period, and also focus again on selling.

Speaking of which, there’s not a lot going on in that sense, but a story that Charlie Patino is set to spend next season on loan at Swansea is interesting. Earlier in the summer, it was reported that he wanted to leave on a permanent basis, but since then there hasn’t been much in the way of public interest. Almost no rumours and, as far as we’re aware, no bids of any significance have been made for the 19 year old. Given how granular transfer information is these days, we’d surely have heard something if there was something.

To me, this one makes sense too. I’m not especially convinced this is about Arsenal leaving the door open to his future here, although you can’t rule that out completely. I suspect it’s a bit of a gamble on him having a good season in the Championship, and thus generating more interest in him next summer. Even if he only has 12 months left on his deal at that point, the fact there aren’t bids during this window feels like the key driver. If he does well at Swansea, he’s probably more valuable next summer than this, and if he doesn’t, I don’t think it markedly impacts his value as it stands. Let’s hope he does well there after a reasonable spell at Blackpool last season.

Right, let’s leave it there. Today’s a busy day as we get ready for the eve of the new season. Tomorrow we’ll have a couple of podcasts for you looking ahead to the new campaign, our traditional big season preview post, and more.

We’ll have any breaking stories over on Arseblog News, for now, have a good one.

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